— Cameron Lovejoy
Cameron Lovejoy went to school until he was 12, at which point he dropped out of school to pursue his own passions. It took some time to “de-school” and begin to allow the natural method for learning to settle back in. "I hated reading and writing in school," he reflects, "it just kind of squashed it out of me. I actually told my grandfather that I would never read or write again and he was just heartbroken. It’s interesting how my curiosity came back and how my parents allowed that to happen naturally as I grew up." He hasn’t looked back since. His initial passion for skateboarding lead to filmmaking, which lead to music. He was a drummer for 7 years and made money by playing the drums for various local bands.In terms of higher education, Cameron "definitely thought about it, but believe that going to school for one or two specific things is not quite up my alley." He chooses to define success by “if I wake up happy by what I do that day. It’s not defined by money really, and I try to challenge myself to not spend a lot of money and to try to get by without a lot of money." He is currently most passionate about writing, and aspires to be a paid author in the future. His biggest source of inspiration for writing comes from traveling and meeting new people, which he has been doing avidly for the last several years. "I write to travel and travel to write," he says. "I want to put myself in the situation that I would want to read about.” At the moment he is working on a short story cycle, which he hopes to eventually turn into a longer feature-length novel. In order to support himself while traveling, Cameron has taken on all sorts of jobs including catering, farming, landscaping, threading film at movie theaters, delivering papers, and organizing a conference. "I want to be like a renaissance man, and just know a lot about a lot of different things. I’m trying to taste everything that I can. I don’t want to say no to a job just because it’s something new. I'm trying to say yes to all opportunities that come, especially in work, but also generally in life and with people." He has utilized resources like Craigslist.org to learn various skills and to find jobs and rideshares. Cameron is also helping fellow Edupunks by organizing community events such as the Autodidact Symposium, which brought together around 150 self-directed learners between the ages of 15 and 30. He invited speakers and workshop leaders, which taught him valuable skills such as organization, management, punctuality, etc. Throughout this process he would receive advice and accountability from one of his mentors, Blake Boles, the author of Better Than College. "Meet new people and talk to them about how they have done things in their life," Cameron advises. "Find someone who can make you accountable for what you really want to do if you can't do it yourself, don't have enough self-discipline, or are too scared to do it. Having someone to give you a little bit of a push is good."
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